At one of our recent Theology discussion groups, we closed the session by all writing our own little chalice words. I was inspired by everyone. It was a little worship, or as it could be translated back in time “worth making.” It got me thinking about Sundays and the absolute privilege of my role with you.
I walk into the pulpit every other week with a little fear. Some of the fear involves practical matters, like whether I know the hymns or if I am missing any announcements. But the real anxiety relates to the quality of the worship. I am always worried: “Will this service take people anywhere?” and “Will it touch people enough to warrant them getting dressed and out of bed on a Sunday, and be part of how and why we deserve roughly one morning each weekend?” In particular, I ask myself "will it reach those of you that I had in mind as I wrote it?" I want worship to have a bit of that pensive energy for you too.
If there is a prayer here - it is that what we do together is always a balance between moments so comfortable that we want to take our shoes off and moments so holy that, like Moses, you feel like you need to. You should demand little else. Let’s be purified by a desire to love ourselves for what we are, and purified by a momentum of being better than we are. Ideally, I want there to be a balance in one moment between creating so comfortable a sense of being at home with loved ones that you lean back into each other’s shoulders. In the next moment, I want it to feel inspiring, and the next moment a jarring challenge. I want you to hold us, and in particular me, but in the deepest sense “us” to high standards. I have faith that our relationships, new ideas, and knowing that we are called to do our little part to save the world will give us purpose and heal us.
With that in mind, could you please tell me what works and what doesn’t? Not so much that you come to feel like your job as a parishioner is that of a critic, but enough that you feel like you have an outlet for your ideas, feelings, and wisdom.
I try to work out of that space and energy, and can often feel when I am, but I am only one opinion that matters. This community is yours. I never forget that. So, help me, help us get this right.